Is Norway abusing child rights in the name of protecting it?

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Chandrasekhar Anupama
Hyderabad, Dec 3: Fate of two minors, Sai Sriram and Abhiram, is hanging in balance. Their parents V Chandrasekhar and Anupama were arrested for 'gross or repeated maltreatment' of their children by Norwegian authorities. They were arrested for allegedly abusing their seven-year-old son Sriram.

A Norwegian court on Monday, Dec 3 will pronounce its verdict on the case of the Indian couple. Norwegian authorities have charged the couple, currently based in Norway, with 'gross/repeated maltreatment' of their child by threats, violence and other wrong doing under section 219 of Norwegian law, according to reports.

The prosecution has reportedly proposed a sentence of one year three months for the mother and one year six months for the father of the child. If found guilty both the parents will have to serve jail terms. In that scenario, what will happen to the children without their parents? Currently, the children are under the care of their grandparents in India.

Achyuta Rao, president of the Andhra Pradesh Child Rights Association, said that, while he appreciated the Norwegian government's mechanism and law to protect the welfare of children, this was clearly a case of abuse of child rights. "The boy has to be given back to his parents."

Six days back, Oslo police had arrested the Indian techie and his wife. V Chandrasekhar, an IT professional, and his wife Anupama, native of Andhra Pradesh, moved to Oslo almost 18 months back. Oslo authorities arrested the couple as they scolded their child Sriram for wetting his school uniform.

Apparently, Sriram told his School teachers that his parents were harsh with him and scared to go home. The Norway Child Protective Service (NCPS) took the boy into custody and served notice to the couple.

Chandrasekhar's parents and other family members have appealed to the state and the central government to intervene in the matter and seek their release.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy directed Chief Secretary Minni Mathew to get in touch with the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs to seek the release of the couple.

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